The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed sadness over the death of foremost nationalist and former President of Nigeria, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Othman Shagari, describing it as a national tragedy.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday described the late Shehu Shagari as “a man of peace, an exceptionally honest Nigerian, outstanding leader, quintessential administrator and a symbol of national unity, who made immeasurable sacrifices for the development, unity and stability of our nation.
Ologbondiyan added that, “Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s excellent performance as political party administrator, member of the House of Representatives, Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, variously as minister of Commerce and Industries; Economic Development, Pensions, Works and then Finance; in addition to his service as a governor of the World Bank and member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) committee of 20, all stood him out for the Presidency in 1979.
Continuing, the statement reads: “Despite the challenges that faced the Second Republic, President Shagari remained dedicated in putting our nation on the path of national unity, economic growth and political stability, which was however, scuttled by the military coup staged by then Maj.Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
“That coup was a great disservice to our dear nation, as it reversed all the gains of the Shagari’s democratic rule and plunged us into serious national challenges, from which our nation has been struggling to recover.
“The PDP is therefore, deeply sorrowful that President Shehu Shagari took his bow at the time our nation needs his wealth of experience the most, particularly in the quest to restore good governance, national cohesion and economic prosperity that have eluded us in almost four years.
“In all, President Shehu Shagari remains a political colossus and the PDP urges the National Assembly to further immortalize him, by mandating the Federal Government to name a foremost national institution after this great patriot.
“The PDP commiserates with the Shagari family, the government and people of Sokoto state, the Council of State and the entire nation for this irreparable loss and prays the Almighty Allah to grant him eternal rest.